Time frame set for competitive bidding project

Accepting bids later this year

While the Health Care Financing Admin-istration’s (HCFA) competitive bidding project has had plenty of delays, it hasn’t been put on ice. According to Alan Parver, president of the National Alliance for Infusion Therapy of Washington DC, HCFA convened a national technical expert panel late last year that addressed the project that is slated to be held through Palmetto Government Benefits Administration.

The product categories are scheduled to include oxygen contents; supplies and equipment; enteral nutrients and supplies; surgical dressings; urological care supplies; and hospital beds and accessories.

The tentative schedule presented at the meeting was as follows:

Education and outreach: 12/1/97 - 5/30/98

Implementation: 6/1/98 - 12/31/98

Operations: 1/1/99 - 12/31/00

The four-stage bid evaluation for each product category will proceed as follows:

Stage One: Identify all bidders who meet eligibility and supplier standards of demonstration.

Stage Two: Identify all bidders in competitive range.

Stage Three: Review collective capacity of winners and, if necessary, adjust cutoff price to ensure sufficient capacity to service demonstration site.

Stage Four: Hold on-site inspections of the facilities to verify they meet general standards.